One of two Sunfish SE Regionals to be held this summer was hosted by the James Island Yacht Club, in Charleston, SC on June 20 and 21. Ten boats participated in nearly perfect conditions, excepting record breaking heat with temperatures close to 100 degrees on the first day. It was a good thing that a combination of 15+ kts of breeze on the first day and big chop kept the boats and skippers drenched so that overheating was not a problem. A stifling hot and stagnant air dome hung over the harbor in the morning, but soon gave way to a brisk and steady sea breeze late in the afternoon, which allowed 4 great races requiring all the stamina one could muster. A strong tide that opposed the wind made for short and steep waves which, of course, made for exhilarating sleigh rides down wind, but also resulted in some slamming hulls upwind.
Sunday morning was a whole new race course, as a light 10 kt breeze actually hung around enough in spite of the dome to provide a course of tactical sailing in shifting currents and winds. As the second and last race of the day got underway, our reliable sea breeze gave us the same thrills as Saturday's four races.
Joel Hurley, from the Halifax Sailing Association in Daytona Beach, FL was the dominating winner, scoring a perfect set of bullets, after his throw out of 2nd place. Joel, at 23 years old, will be returning to Wrightsville Beach, NC in August, for the second SE Regional, to be hosted by Carolina Yacht Club, NC. Running a distant second in the regatta was master and local, Brian Swan and following third with a tie breaker was Crawford Milling, from Columbia (SC) Sailing Club.